As we head toward the dog days of summer, mixologists all over town are mixing and shaking some refreshing libations — from WeHo to the beach and even over the hill.
E.P.&L.P.: Equal parts Asian eating house and one of the city’s largest format rooftop decks, this mod multilevel hotspot is serving six new summer-centric cocktails from Bev Director Adam Nystrom, available at both E.P. and L.P. with additional cocktails exclusive to one or other.
The L.P. menu includes a pair of Boba tea cocktails– Walk This Way with vodka, lychee, coconut water, lime, and tropical pearls and The OG Ice-T with white whiskey, Thai tea, Guanabana, Amaro, coconut milk, and tapioca.)
There’s also an icy spin on one of our favorites, Aperol Spritz — but this time, monikered Fresh Spritz of Bel Air – a frozen mix of rosé Prosecco, Aperol, cold pressed watermelon, and fresh squeezed grapefruit juice.
Beachside, Copa d’Oro is home to Vincenzo Marianella’s cocktails, including the Sauvignon Sour — with Beluga Noble vodka, a house-made Sauvignon Blanc syrup, and lime cucumber-celery juice.
Other cocktails include Gold Velvet — bourbon, lemon, ginger, and Aperol velvet; Fresh AF — gin, lime, agave nectar and creole bitters; Minaseno — Toki Japanese whisky, Amaro Nonino, creole bitters, and Cynar Velvet; and Ward Ocho — Mezcal, homemade grenadine, lime and orange juice.
A newcomer to these parts, The San Fernando was opened by longtime pals Daniel Espinosa, Uwe Korak, and Scott Gonnering. Located in a semi-industrial stretch across from railroad tracks, the building that houses the new hang has a post-war pedigree. Bartender Brian Byrnes mixes up drinks that are complex yet straight-forward with housemade shrubs and syrups.
Three cocktails perfect for sweltering valley days are the Strawberry W.C. Fields — Templeton Rye, housemade strawberry strawberry purée, lemon juice, black cherry balsamic, cherry bitters; The Imposter — jalapeño and fennel infused Rye, house-made ginger/turmeric/honey syrup, pressed lemon, torched pepper; and Sir Ernest Shackleton – Rutte Celery Gin, St. Germain, Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth, lemon, pear brandy, egg white, cinnamon.
SOCA – the Ventura Blvd. steak and seafood spot from veteran Valley chef Aaron Robins — has a gin-centric bar program featuring ten distinctive Spanish G & T’s. Is there a more on-point summer cocktail? Served traditionally in a balloon glass with rocks, SOCA’s signature drink draws inspiration from España — pairing each G & T with carefully selected aromatics like kumquats, dehydrated blueberries, and pink peppercorns to enhance the 50 plus gin varietals behind the bar.
Highlights include Spanish Gin & Tonic No. 1 – Gin Mare, Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic, kumquats, and thyme; Spanish Gin & Tonic No. 4 – Few Breakfast Gin, Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic, Meyer lemon peel, chocolate mint, and dehydrated blueberry; Spanish Gin & Tonic No. 5 – Spirit Guild Astral Gin, Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic, satsuma, lemongrass, and a lime leaf; Spanish Gin & Tonic No. 6 – Malfy Gin, Fever Tree Indian Tonic, shiso leaf, strawberry, pink peppercorn.
Media darling Woodley Proper, the smash hit from Valley wunder-kid Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee, has fast become the fave lounge experience from both sides of the hill. Devon Espinosa and team are serving up some pretty inventive cocktails — from the Yorkshire Cocktail punch bowls to Host Your Own Cocktail Party with booze and mixings. The Mojito or Margarita set would be the perfect summer evening party. Check out Espinosa’s Valley Girl — Pimm’s and Ginger Beer with lemon, orange, strawberries, and cucumber or the Edible Alcohol Sphere made with vodka and blueberries. Way cool!